Babruisk: civil society units to secure and promote labor rights
In Babruisk, the joint campaign “Our Rights” was launched by the local representatives of the Free Trade Union of Belarus, the Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry, itsyouth network, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Women's Network of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions and the Belarusian Association of Working Women.
“Co-workers often ask me for solutions to their problems, and every time I get surprized that people do not have even a basic knowledge that could help them,” says the chairman of the Babruisk TUREI branch Halina Smirnova. “First of all it concerns the protection of labor. This "naivety" of workers is often used by their employers. For example, we were addressed by some people who received injuries in the workplace, who were offered to sign the papers which stated that these were household injuries. Just imagine – they did it!”
The main areas in which the company will operate areworkers' rights and responsibilities of employers for non-compliance with these rights, the principles of protection from the self-will of the administration, short-term contracts, health and safety, working time (lunch breaks, technology breaks, including for private firms) and so on.
“Our campaign will continue until the end of autumn, so we can discuss each issue in detail, including such things as the temperature of the enviornment in the summer in the workplace. After all, people once used to work in any conditions and did not even think about the fact that there are established rules in this respect,” says Halina Smirnova.
Initiators of the campaign "Our Rights" hope they will be joined not only by members of independent trade unions, but first of all by common Babruisk dwellers who need such knowledge.
“We intend to hold topical seminars, make informational booklets and inform our target audience through the Internet. We also need the people who get our training to continue informing their colleagues in their working collectives, because one needs to know the truth to be able to fight for one's rights,” explains the head of the Babruisk TUREI branch.